tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 22, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PST
a flash from dallas. two priests who were with president kennedy say he is dead. of bullet wounds. >> this is the latest information we have from dallas. of course we're standing by to give you all available information as it comes to us. i will repeat with the greatest regret, this flash. two priests who were with president kennedy say he has died of bullet wounds. >> 50 years ago today, the death of president john f. kennedy was announced on air waves across this country. his death, one of those few moments in history that's imprinted on the minds of americans who lived that day. and today under overcast skies in northern virginia, the eternal flame burns on jfk's gravesite. all day msnbc will have special
coverage as the nation pays tribute on this 50th anniversary of jfk's assassination. [ bagpipes playing ] the official remembrances began this morning at arlington national cemetery beginning with the playing the bag pipes. bag pipes a personal favorite of jfk's. they were also played at his funeral. minutes later in arlington, "taps" echoed through the cemetery as a wreath was placed at the site where the president lies alongside his first lady, jackie. this afternoon dallas will mark the day with a solemn ceremony in the plaza that jfk's motorcade passed just before the infamous shots rang out. thousands will be in attendance. coming up in minutes, i'll be speaking with a woman who was just a girl when she witnessed jfk's murder. she took iconic photos of jfk's last moments. right now we want to get big political stories of the day. good morning, everybody, i'm
thomas roberts coming to you live from washington, d.c. topping our agenda, a november to remember in the senate, with the nuclear reaction. >> it's time to change. it's time to change the senate before this institution becomes obsolete. >> to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you'll regret this and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think. >> senators harry reid and mitch mcconnell on the senate floor just before democrats laumplgd the nuclear option. president obama praising senate dems for dropping the bomb. >> the american people deserve better than politicians who run for election telling them how terrible government is and then devoting their time in elected office to trying to make government not work as often as possible. >> look now just a sampling of the headlines in this morning's both nuclear world. "republicans provoked nuclear option." and in "the washington post"
republicans only have themselves to blame. the real fallout, though, everyone is just digging deeper into their bunkers. >> we had to change the rules now because the perpetual war on the executive branch and judicial branch are completely out of sync with our constitutional role of advice and consent. >> they decided to change the rules. i suspect that changes the senate in fundamental ways forever. >> it's not justappoint appointe appointees, it's the amount of time we've wasted. can it get worse? to be very honest with you, i really doubt that it can. >> only time will tell whether pushing the button will ending the partisan fever, as senator reid hopes, or whether senator mcconnell will prove right and it will be a move that democrats eventually regret. >> i think this is a pandora's box that's been opened that both majorities have wanted for some time. i think next year in 2015 when
the republicans are in the majority in the senate, it becomes a different landscape. >> joining me now, nbc's casey hunting. casey, a lot of fallout has been happening in the hours since this nuclear option was triggered. but as we talk about this and we see the reaction, it really depends on the view from the left or the right, but people are saying, as we look at this and as we look at the track record of the senate that this was necessary. how could it get worse? >> to a certain stengt this is just a codification of how the senate has been operating. this idea that it was a gentleman's agreement that they would allow knees nominees to go through has been out the window for a long time. the reason it came to a head is because of the importance of this d.c. circuit in particular and it's a spat that goes back years to 2005 when these arguments were exactly reversed and you had democrats making the same arguments that republicans are making today. and democrats ultimately caved
and they let george w. bush's judicial nominees through and they're on the d.c. circuit today and making decisions that democrats are unhappy with. so on the flip side, now that obama's nominees have been stopped, they wanted the opportunity to put these new judges on the court. >> but you talk about how the dems acquiesced when it was the reverse and this option wasn't triggered. when we look at what senator reid put out and the "washington post" the chart on filibusters on executive nominees, you see president obama has the most. as we look at people who voted against the option, this was a blockbuster change in rules, but if we see that there is an obstructionist issue going on with this current president and as we heard from the senator in chuck's hour about the fact there's a war on judicial and executive action, don't these numbers back that up? >> one difference that you're seeing with some of these nominees that we didn't necessarily see in the past is republicans aren't really raising objections based on
their qualifications or even necessarily their ideology. they're not pulling statements from their past. they are not facing ethics violations. the argument they're making is, well, there's not enough work on this court to go around. and that's different from in the past when judges have been blocked, it's because maybe they said something in particular about abortion that one side highlights or the other side highlights or they have ethical issues. there have been in the past reasons to oppose specific people. in this case it was a blanket opposition that didn't have any specific grievances attached to it. >> and it's the o in obstruction that matches up with the o because it's coming from obama. >> well, this senate among republicans, obama is toxic. so if it's associated with the president, there's reason to oppose it. >> nbc's casey hunt. great to see you. thank you so much. i want to bring in democratic senator richard blumenthal of connecticut. sir, it's good to have you with me and you voted in favor of the nuclear option. we've got dana milbank writing a scathing op-ed titled "the
democrats naked power grab." he wrote if congress wasn't broken before, it certainly is now. what reid did was take the chamber of congress that still functioned at a modest level and turned ed ied it into a clone other that functions not at all. they turned the senate into the house. sir, do you agree with that and do you feel there is a right to have this reaction, especially when we look at the tape from 2005 when we had senator hillary clinton, we had joe biden, we had the senator then barack obama saying that this was a terrible thing that the republicans could do and now here we are less than a decade later and the democrats have done it? >> harry reid's leadership here, the majority leader's intervention was fundamentally and profoundly necessary and important because right now the senate has not been working on judicial nominations and executive appointments. the last five years have seen about half of all the filibusters on these nominations
that occurred in the last 200 years. so it is used now at an unparalleled and unconscionable rate by the republicans. and the last three nominees to the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia i think proved the point. remember, and i think this is a point that you raised just a few minutes ago, in 2005 there was an agreement that these nominees would be blocked only in, quote, exceptional circumstances, end quote. that agreement has been in tatters and this move is necessary to make the body functional, to make washington work and to get things done. >> do you fear, though, that the roles will be reversed if republicans take over the senate? and is it also a fair thing to assume that if they did that the republicans would have done away with the filibuster anyway? >> you know, i'm expecting that the democratic majority will prevail in this next election cycle. but even if it doesn't, the
american people fundamentally want things to get done in washington. and by the way, i should just tell you in the interest of full disclosure, i came to washington saying the whole filibuster should be abolished. in fact i think the second or third vote in the united states senate that i took was to abolish the filibuster completely, because i believe that above all, americans are losing confidence in the ability of washington and the federal government to get things done because of this gridlock and paralysis. so i'm hopeful that in fact it will go forward maybe even better than it has before. >> a lot of bruised feelings on the right. only time will tell on that. sir, i want to move on to what we're remembering on the network all day today, the 50th anniversary of jfk's assassination. these are live pictures in dallas as thousands are expected to gather this morning there outside of the texas book depository. the president, jfk, was in office himself. he switched up the rules when he was in the house before he got
to the white house that made it possible for the civil rights act to be passed. when we think, though, about the judicial nominees and why, why stop there. do you think democrats would change the rules to include pieces of legislation as well as we look at the fact that you say you campaigned on the fact that you wanted to do away with the filibuster? >> my guess is that those rules will not change fundamentally to abolish the filibuster. we could well see what's called the talking filibuster. in other words, require that a senator who wants to talk to actually talk on the floor and the thereby if he wants or she to block legislation, to promote more consideration of it, to actually conduct what is iconically a filibuster. you know, the republicans have now blocked the national defense authorization act in one of the final actions they required cloture to go forward and the undetectable firearms act. why that would happen after that
reauthorization passed in 2003 unanimously in both the house and the senate, a measure to stop undetectable firearms and ban them because they can be taken on planes or other places, why they would require cloture on that measure is incomprehensible. but if that's going to be their tactic, i think the american people will see it for what it is. simply adding to the gridlock and paralysis. and i think that the elections will prove very telling on that point. >> senator richard blumenthal. sir, thanks for joining us today. i appreciate it. >> thank you, thomas. i want to move on to this developing news coming out of virginia. state senator creigh deeds has been released from the hospital. he was stabbed earlier this week police believe by his own son in an attempted murder-suicide. 24-year-old gus deeds was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the family's home. police are continuing to piece together the circumstances which led up to that incident but understanding now that senator
creigh deeds has been discharged from the hospital. in just a few minutes, we'll continue our special coverage, the assassination of president kennedy. i'm going to speak to a woman who was just a young girl at the time when she witnessed that murder. she was forced to take cover as those shots rang out. and for today's big question, what is your "where were you" iconic moment? for the greatest generation that might be december the 7th. for millennials and genxors it was probably 9/11. but we want to hear yours. chime in on twitter and facebook. you can also tweet us your thoughts to #jfk50years. first we head to break with video taken during the 9:00 a.m. hour on this date back in 1963. president kennedy made an impromptu appearance before a crowd waiting to see him outside the hotel texas. >>. >> did you shake hands in the president? >> yes, sir. >> what did you think of him? >> i thought he was very distinguished.
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i appreciate your being here this morning. mrs. kennedy is organizing herself, takes longer. >> welcome back, everybody. i'm thomas roberts. good morning from here in washington, d.c. at just about this very moment at 11:16 eastern time, 10:16 central in dallas, president kennedy and his wife, jackie, were returning to suite 850
after giving what would be his last public speech inside the grand ballroom at the hotel texas in ft. worth. >> so this country which desires only to be free, which desires to be secure, which desires to live in peace for 18 years under three different administrations has born more than its share of the burden, has stood watch for more than its number of years. i don't think that we are fatigued or tired. we would like to live as we once lived. but history will not permit it. we are still the keystone in the arch of freedom and i think we'll continue to do as we have done in our past, our duty. and the people of texas will be in the lead. so i'm glad to come. [ applause ] >> just about one hour later, the president and first lady would depart ft. worth aboard air force one and head for dallas, texas. msnbc's alex witt has a look at the scars the assassination of
the president has left on that city. >> reporter: 1963 dallas was a small town grown big. of the nearly 700,000 residents, as many as a third of them turned out to see president kennedy and jackie make the sunny drive from love field through downtown dallas. until the sound of rifle shots shattered everything, including the image of dallas. >> but dallas was branded as the city of shame and a city of hate and all these ridiculous terms that didn't really apply to most people. and dallas residents resented it. >> reporter: lee harvey oswald was not from dallas or of dallas, but the perception proved hard to shake. >> it's just been decades of continuous reminders that, oh, this is the city that killed presidents. no, it's not! one guy did. >> time moves on. you know, people began to not blame the city but to blame the right person. and especially after the warren commission report, to blame
other things. >> reporter: but dallas bore that branding for a decade until 1972, when the dallas cowboys won their first super bowl championship and created the image as america's team. that was followed by the hit tv show "dallas" which captivated millions with its image of wealth and intrigue. >> dallas mayor michael rawlings. >> when people think today about dallas, they think about business and what we do down here. >> reporter: it's also the mecca for the curious and the sentimental. >> it's amazing to see the history. >> reporter: and continues to fascinate to the extreme with some running into the street to stand on the spot where the president was assassinated. most recognize the downtown dallas skyline as an image of success and glamour, but for some, it will never obscure the dark day in dealey plaza. >> do you think of jfk? >> yes. i think that's probably the first thing that comes to mind. >> always? >> always. >> i'm not sure we want to ever
escape history. it's good to own history. it's something that you talk to your kids about. >> reporter: alex witt, nbc news, dallas. >> it was on that late november day, around 12:30 in the afternoon central time that john f. kennedy's motorcade turned the corner from houston to elm street with rows of residents standing on the side of the streets. jackie kennedy next to him in the back seat. everyone just trying to catch a glimpse of the first couple and the first world-shattering shot ringing out, striking the young president in the head. first lady jackie could be seen desperately calling for help atop the limousine and our next guest bore witness to that moment that changed america forever. tina towner-pender witnessed the assassination of jfk. tina, thanks for joining me today. we want to talk about that time in your life as just a young girl. you were standing in fronting of the texas book depository. you were filming the motorcade with your father.
tell me about why you and your dad were there and what memory vividly stands out to you from that day. >> well, my dad had shown me how to use the camera, an 8 millimeter movie camera, so i knew how to use it and i was focused on doing it correctly and keeping the camera still. he would let me know when it was time to get ready to shoot the film. and we stepped into the street when he asked permission of a nearby policeman if we could step into the street when the motorcade approached so we could take our film closer. and that's what we did. i stood right there on the corner an panned the motorcade or actually just the limousine as it turned around the corner. i was looking through the view finder the whole time. >> we're looking at images that you shot yourself as that 13-year-old little girl. you were interviewed for an article in the "l.a. times" this week. in that article it begins saying in 1963, a radio newsman, a
school girl and a nurse were close to the action when president john f. kennedy was assassinated. what they saw still haunts them. now, you were just 13. is that article accurate? does that memory still haunt you? what vividly can you recall from that moment in time? >> well, i wasn't where i could actually see the motorcade or i couldn't see the limousine when the first gunshot sounded. the limousine turns that sharp corner there and goes down a hill and there were people lining the street to my left, so all i could see was the back end of the limousine when i stopped taking the film. it was about two seconds after that i'm told when the first gunshot sounded. and i thought it was fire crackers and someone was throwing firecrackers out of a window so i glanced up quickly, but somebody, i don't know who, some man pulled me down to the ground. grabbed my arm and pulled me
down to the ground and held on to me until he thought it was safe to get up. so as far as being haunt -- go ahead. >> tina, go ahead about being haunted by the memories you were going to say? >> well, haunted is probably not a good word for me. i never felt like i was traumatized by it. i think my age had something to do with that. and not being any closer to where the president was killed probably helped that feeling also. >> and what do you make of the conspiracy theories and how people have discussed this over the last five decades of what really happened on that day? what are your thoughts? >> well, i don't really have a theory of my own other than i don't think we really know what happened. i don't think we know yet what happened. and i really haven't kept up with all, there's so many conspiracy theories. i've heard a few and read a few books about it and some of them sound plausible.
but all i know is what i heard and what i saw that day and what my parents witnessed with me. >> well, you were a witness to this moment in our country's history, a sad and dark chapter for all of us. tina towner-pender, thank you for sharing your story with us, i appreciate your time today. coming up, how that moment changed life in america forever. michael beschloss and larry sabato's book is a must read and they're going to join me to talk about what this day means, where we were there and where we're going down. we're right back after this.
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still ahead this hour on msnbc, ted and the donald. the tea party's texas fire brand is going to sit down today with the billionaire magnet. coming up, what's behind the gop meeting of the minds? and today we will have a very good go and do. i get a chance to speak with actor gary sinise about his efforts to help our nation's veterans all across the country. back after this. he next 40ears
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from dallas, texas, the flash apparently official. president kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. central standard time, 2:00 eastern standard time, some 38 minutes ago. vice president johnson has left the hospital in dallas, but we do not know to where he has proceeded. presumably he will be taking the oath of office shortly and become the 36th president of the united states. >> that was walter cronkite 50 years ago today announcing the death of president kennedy. that clip certainly iconic now. we continue our special coverage of the 50th anniversary of the
assassination of the president coming up in just a few minutes. but first taking over. we're talking about chris christie, now the chair of the republican governors association. so with that new title as a part of his governorship, does that help him come 2016? and then kissing the ring, senator ted cruz's meeting today with donald trump. a way to set himself up for a potential run for the white house? those are the topics today for our agenda panel. we say good morning to joan walsh from salon.com, the editor at large. shira centering is the politics center for role call and corey dade is a contributing editor for the root. joan, i just need you to be here in d.c. and it will be hail, hail, the gang's all here. i'm sorry we're teaming up against you today from washington, d.c. i want to start out first with chris christie. we have the former president, george w. bush, making the surprise appearance at the rga meeting yesterday speaking to governors and then politico saying it's christie's request that the president show up.
what does that say about his power when he can get a former president to come out at his behest. he's coming out pretty strong, right? >> yeah, i think he has a lot of power. he has power with what's become the moderate wing. they're obviously very conservative but have become the moderates. george w. bush is a former governor himself. i think a lot of the governors there want to say this is where the next president is going to come from. chris christie thinks it's going to be him. i think it's also funny, you've got a bunch of people there who think it should be them. you had scott walker today take a shot at chris christie saying i won't be calling anybody an idiot. and so you've got a lot of egos in that room and then you bring the former president into the mix. still not the most popular ex-president but, you know, i think they -- i think christie thought that was a big deal and we'll see. >> so during the news conference that we saw yesterday, christie again brushing off the talk of 2016. i want to play a portion of that. take a look. >> we have 36 races. we have 20 incumbent governors up in 2014. and i think any one of us in our
individual capacity or many of us as leaders of this organization on the executive committee start thinking about 2016 at our own peril, but worse at the peril of our colleagues. >> so he's putting the party, co corey, ahead of what's going on in his own personal interests in terms of politics. but still he's adding some steak to his sizzle as the chairman of the rga and what this means to his national profile. >> this is his chance to be a real player on the national stage. he hasn't had to. we saw a few weeks ago coming out of his re-election he was doing the sunday morning talk show circuit and he skipped over many of the important sort of wedge issues between both parties and even within his own party. he said as governor i don't have to decide that. but as the head of the rga, you know, the rga gave over the last two election cycles upwards of $300 million to gubernatorial candidates in the republican
party. they are very powerful. in gives him a chance to solidify his reputation of someone who can get republicans elected to statewide office but it also gives him hooks into those state parties that drive presidential campaigns, so this is put up or shut up time for him now. >> and keeps him out of d.c. politics. >> that's right. >> and with senator rand paul, he has a new offer to get christie's ear to bury their hatchet after their summer argument. here's the conservative radio -- he's on a conservative radio show on wednesday. he's asked if he would sit down with a joint interview if they ended up in iowa at the same time. listen to his response. >> do you think i could convince you to come into the studio together so we can have a chat? >> absolutely. in fact i would -- i've been trying to get him to go out for a beer with me anyway so maybe you can get that organized. there's a state fair, we could go for a fried twinkie. >> all right, the twinkie summit. do you think there's the potential for this? obviously christie will have the opportunity as corey is pointing
out here with getting into state political elections and get to travel to all of these states. but rand paul has a different opportunity ahead of him than chris christie does in staying in washington, d.c., in staying in the national profile. but do you think that these two will really have a meeting of the minds? >> i'm sure they'll appear on the stage together at some point in the future, but -- >> a debate. >> exactly. i don't think they'll be powwowing over twinkies at the state fair. chris christie, i'm not sure he'll make a big play for iowa in general. i think it's a traditional conservative territory. we've seen that in the caucus results. i think he'll more be a new hampshire guy. one of his top staffers is already up there at the state party so it's notable that this happened in iowa. >> let's turn our attention to ted cruz. shira, you get credit for our kissing the ring statement earlier with the fact that the senator is going to go to new york and have this meeting with
donald trump. what do you make of this? >> i also called it preemptive damage control. i think ted cruz is making nice with donald trump. they're having a nice little conversation. kissing the ring, as you said i said. but it's almost just so donald trump doesn't do something later to really miss up ted cruz's game plan. it is very much preemptive damage control. >> do you agree with that, corey, that this is a nice way to make friends ahead of time and sniff each other out? >> yeah, i think so. remember, ted cruz is canadian born so maybe he wants to bring the donald his birth certificate ahead of time. let him see it, get it out of the way so he can move on. >> joan, your thoughts on this? we've got a spokesman for senator cruz telling politico that mr. trump is a friend and the senator had some downtime in nyc so it's logical that they might get together. what do you think about it? >> that's how i spend my downtime usually. i don't have much, thomas, but i'm sure that's what it is. no, i think it is very likely about the birther nonsense. i mean donald trump is the
birther in chief. he did suggest on abc's "this week" that perhaps -- cruz was perhaps not eligible to be president, perhaps not is rather dainty for donald trump but a little bit of a discordent note. so i'm sure there's a little of that, let's talk this over. canadian or not, this was the path in 2012. they all went and kissed the ring and then mitt romney had to embrace him publicly when he won that coveted endorsement and appear in front of his plane and be branded trump. so, you know, ted cruz has to do the same thing if he wants to run in 2016. >> all right. so i tried to get donald trump on the record this morning. i called and spoke to him personally. he did not want to go on the record in advance of this meeting, so we'll circle back on monday and see if we can get him on the record about this. but i think it's interesting nonetheless. i say thank you to our agenda panel, salon.com's joan walsh, also corey dade -- the root's corey dade and shira center, who
i wanted to say congratulations on getting married. >> thank you. >> now with the holidays coming up. i was a little late to this party apparently, it happened a couple of months ago but i get to see you in person and say congratulations. coming up we'll return to our coverage of the assassination of john f. kennedy. flags on capitol hill are at half staff today. after this break we talk about can jfk's life and presidency teach us lessons that we can use in today's polarized world of politics? i'll talk to a special panel, including historian michael beschloss, author of "presidential courage" and larry sabato. we head to break with sound from tom brokaw and dan rather talking about why jfk's legacy endures. >> dan, do you think this story will so endure that 50 years from now there will be other former anchors sitting at this desk talking about the impact of the assassination of john f. kennedy on not just the american political scene but on the cultural scene as well?
>> i do believe that will happen, tom. not at the level it's happened for this first 50th anniversary, but i think it will be the kennedy mystique partly because he died violently so young and also because he had so much promise. i think the mystique will be there 50 years from now and, yes, there will probably be aging anchormen talking about i you get your hair cut here. you find that certain thing you were looking for here, but actually you get so much more. when you shop at these small local businesses, you support all the things that make your community great. the money you spend here, stays here. in this place you call your neighborhood. small business saturday is november 30th. get out and shop small. for all those who sleep too hot or too cool,
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a sign of his own assassination. >> when i met with john, i was quite taken by the fact that he knew so little about the black community. he knew the headlines of the day, but he really wasn't anywhere nuanced or detailed on the depth of black anguish, of what our struggle was really about. kind of like it passed him in the night. he had some familiarity, but there wasn't a great deal. >> their motorcade was headed to carswell air force base and from there they arrived in dallas at 11:44 central time. a little behind schedule when they landed at dallas love field but they took some time to greet another unexpected crowd at that airport there and you can see the throngs of people that
showed up. joining me now, presidential historian michael beschloss. he's written nine books including "presidential courage" and larry sabato, author of "the kennedy half century." michael, as we look back at the kennedy legacy in an article that politico has out, it says five decades later as debates about kennedy's use or misuse of presidential power and the gulf between his private recklessness rumble on, it is the hope that inspired that lingers. the article goes on to recall caroline kennedy endorsed barack obama back in 2008. do you think in our political climate, in this climate that we have lost track of that hope, of that optimism that surrounded president kennedy? >> i think we have. in fact there was a doonesbury cartoon that had something reading ask not what your country can do for you. a lot of kids were laughing and
the third frame, someone was saying what's happened to us. >> so when we look at the time of where we've gone over the last five decades, we have a very interesting piece on msnbc.com that really breaks down what life was like before jfk and the assassination, some of the highlights being that a stamp cost 5 cents, minimum wage was $1.25 an hour, the average family income was $6200 but cut that in half for nonwhite families. martin luther king had just given his "i have a dream" speech three months earlier. larry, in writing your book, what did you come away with by thinking jfk as a civil rights leader on the social justice front 50 years ago and where we are today with many of the same conversations? >> well, as i'm sure michael will agree, we tend to misremember the past. especially when an administration ends as tragically as john kennedy's did. look, he had many strong points, and i've tried to stress them in "the kennedy half century" but i
really don't think civil rights was one of them, at least until the end of his administration. he finally came down solidly, emotionally on the right side, calling civil rights a moral issue in june of 1963. but, you know, civil rights leaders were very unhappy with him throughout his administration because he didn't do many of the things he pledged to do in the campaign. he got 70% of the african-american vote, and it just didn't -- it didn't pan out until the end of kennedy's administration. >> larry, the one thing that continues to keep people interested in remembering what happened on that day is the mystique around the facts of what really happened with the conspiracy theories that abound about the true death of jfk, why so many years later do you think that people still have this ambiguous feeling that we don't know all the facts? >> well, thomas, there are many reasons why. frankly, the investigation was
not the best. the staffers did a great job, but i think there were -- there was lying by the fbi and the cia to the warren commission. president johnson had a political motive to get that investigation over quickly. there were lots of things going on under the surface that made the warren commission less than credible in the long run. but let's also remember people were having to come to terms with what was a massive national tragedy. it just shook us all to our foundations. and we were trying to understand it. and to have the president of the united states, the most powerful man in the world on one hand, to have his life ended in seconds and to have the man who did it presented to us as a 24-year-old loner who had failed at everything he had ever done, it didn't weigh properly. it didn't add up. >> well, who then was killed by jack ruby. so there was that connection that leaves everybody with
lingering questions that we don't have an opportunity to get to oswald for facts. michael, let me end with you because as we look back on the impact of all of this and see the headlines that echo the loss of our leaders, what lessons do you think that lawmakers could learn today from jfk in operation of the discourse we have in our washington congress? >> well, and i think they'll get a great sense of this from larry's wonderful book and urge people to read it. i think perhaps more than anything else what larry said was he was right about civil rights but in the end kennedy had the guts to send the most controversial civil rights bill to the senate and house that had ever been sent in 1963. the reason he was in texas was because in doing so, he had lost the south for 1964. he was willing to jeopardize his re-election for civil rights. i think rarely these days, sadly do we see that kind of guts. >> michael beschloss, larry
sabato, thanks for joining us this morning. tune in tonight for three hours of special coverage on the assassination of jfk. first at 7:00 p.m. eastern, jfk, the day that changed america. then then at 8:00, watch "the kennedy brothers," hardball documentary. then "50 years of guns." that's on msnbc. at 2:00 p.m. msnbc.com will be live streaming nbc's news coverage of the assassination as it happened. today's big question centers around the day and this day in american history, wanted to know what was your where railroad you moment. so many answers were about where you were when jfk was killed. john writing in saying "scary, the nuns were walking us out of school saying the rosary, felt like the end of days. i was a junior in high school work in the principal's office taking up absentee reports.
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what are you doing here? >> well, i thought i'd try out my sea legs. >> you ain't got no legs, lieutenant dan. >> yes, i know that. >> it was nearly 20 years ago actors tom hanks and gary sinise made that movie, one of the most memorable and that scene from forrest gump. actor gary sinise is a longtime supporters of veterans. he started gary sinise foundation to do more for wounded vets and their families. i had a chance to talk to him about his mission. >> tell us how the acting role of lieutenant dan in forrest gump helped motivate you further to help the troops and start the foundation you have today. >> i very much wanted to play
that part. i was lucky to be able to do it. prior to get the role, which was 20 years ago now, i was involved with various vietnam veterans groups in the chicago area, i had vietnam veterans in my family, so i very much wanted to do that part. because of that role, i got involved with our disabled american veterans organization and started working with our wounded. after september 11th when we were attacked and our troops started being deployed to iraq and afghanistan, i just volunteered and started visiting them and then entertaining them and eventually started my own military support foundation, gary sinise foundation, where we're trying to serve and honor the needs of our wounded. we have so many wound freddie this dozen years of war. our military families, i'm just trying to do what i can for the veteran community. >> there's more from the interview. i want to encourage you to watch the whole thing later online.
it's going to be up on the web page at msnbc.com. if you know somebody with that go and do spirit, let us know about it. tweet us and that's going to wrap things up for me today in washington, d.c. i'll see you next week 11:00 eastern time. don't go anywhere. "now" with alex wagner is next. e of your future. your retirement. ♪ ameriprise advisors can help you like they've helped millions of others. listening, planning, working one on one. to help you retire your way... with confidence. that's what ameriprise financial does. that's what they can do with you. ameriprise financial. more within reach. that's what they can do with you. i started part-time, now i'm a manager.n. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day.
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falling the vote, reid and president obama placed the blame squarely on republican obstructionists. >> it's not a time for celebrati celebration. it's a time for being serious. the obstruction we've seen for president obama has reached new heights never dreamed of. >> a deliberate effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the results of an election is not normal. for the sake of future generations, we can't let it become normal. the american people deserve better than politicians who run telling them how terrible government is and devote their time in office to try to make it not work as much as possible. >> republicans responded with threats, schoolyard taunts. warned a spokesperson for majority leader mitch mcconnell.